FG to subject panel’s report on UNILAG’s crisis to scrutiny

By Felix Khanoba

The Federal Government has assured of fairness in the implementation of the report of seven-man special visitation panel to University of Lagos (UNILAG), saying the document would be subjected to proper scrutiny before it comes into force.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who received the report on behalf of the visitor to the University, President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja on Thursday, said such a move would bring about right decisions that will totally end the crisis in the University.

He said: “We are going to subject this report to thorough scrutiny. Because of your (panel) honour and integrity we believe this report is what we are looking for, but we will look at it so closely that if there is something we are not looking for we will tell you.”

While thanking the visitation panel for ensuring fair hearing in the discharge of its duties, Adamu said the Federal Government was ready to ensure individuals found wanting in the UNILAG’s crisis account for their deeds.

“The visitor to the University after consideration of the report will take a decision on the matter as appropriate in order to resolve the crisis and bring about a conducive learning atmosphere in the University of Lagos and the university system as a whole,” he said.

Earlier, the chairman of the visitation panel, Prof. Tukur Sa’ad, said the views and accounts of all concerned parties in the crisis as well as other stakeholders were diligently sourced in arriving at the report.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for giving them the opportunity to serve, saying the recommendations would go a long way in resolving the crisis.

“We cannot divulge any content of the report but it will be significant that the Chancellor of the University, the Shehu of Borno interacted with the panel. We are happy we have completed this work and we hope the special visitation panel would have made a contribution towards resolving the problem of University of Lagos and towards preventing similar problems in all over the country,” Prof. Sa’ad said.

The AUTHORITY reports that the crisis that engulfed the University resulted in the suspension of both the governing council’s chairman, Wale Babalakin and the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, by the Federal Government.

Adamu had while inaugurating the panel on 26 August, 2020, said the Federal Government was bombarded with accusations and counter- accusations from management and the Governing Council of UNILAG on financial and administrative issues.

In a related development, the panel set up by the Federal Government on the administrative crisis rocking the African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Abuja, has submitted its report.

Submitting the two-volume report, chairman of the panel, Prof. Nimi Brigg, said the University established in 2004, was designed to boost the studies of science and technology, adding that the complaints on ownership and the way the institution was being run prompted the Federal Government to set up the panel.

“AUST was established with very good intention, it was meant to be part of a series of African institutes of science and technology that were meant to be dotted all over sub-Saharan Africa.

“The idea was that through these institutions, science and technology was going to be given a serious boost in Africa and a path through Africa, particularly Southern Africa, was to be developed,” he said.

Prof. Briggs said the “passionate report” churn out by the panel if implemented would address the problems of the university.

Responding, the minister of education, expressed the commitment of the Federal Government to ensure the implementation of the report to fulfil the mission of the University.

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